August 31, 2007

Emergency Plans for Natural Disasters

Living on the Big Island is always an adventure and a wonderous array of natural occurances.
Its always good to have an emergency plan for anything that might occur like an earthquake, hurricane or fire. Luckily we have been spared from most major problems here in Puako.

These are a few of the things you can do to prepare for such a situation whether you are on vacation or making your new home here.

1.Designate meeting places for your family if you would get seperated.

2.Appoint an adult family member to learn how and when to turn off electricity, gas and water.

3.Know the nearest shelter and shelter and evacuation routes, particulary if you live near a coastal area or on an island like we do.

4.Find a safe place to move your vehicle or boats.

5.Check your insurance policy to see if it provides adequate coverage. Damage caused by floods and high winds may not be covered in regular policies.

6.Place all of your valuables and important records in a waterproof container and store in the safest place you can find.

7.Make certain that everything you need is readily available for you to grab in such an emergency.

We always should be prepared. Hopefully we will not experience such a problem, but if we do we will have a better chance of surviving and protecting our friends, neighbors and family.

Have a great weekend everyone.

August 30, 2007

Mauna Kea Hotel Closed-Vacation Rentals still Open

The Mauna Kea Resort is still closed and we really do not know when it will be back up and running. We have a wonderful home there that sleeps 8 people called the Apa Apa Home. Its a luxury rental with one of the best views of the coastline and sunsets.

Laurance S Rockefeller first had the dream after flying over the remote barren piece of land. Being so far away from anything at that time it was a radical risk in a remote, exotic location. He had wanted a cluster of seperate huts arrayed along the shore like a Greek village, with no air conditioning, no phones, televisions or other reminders of the outside world. Secret meetings with architects in Skidmore Owings Merrill’s San Francisco offices created a white, domed cottage, open to the elements at the top. When the model was complete, Rockefeller executives sweated out a test night and a tropical storm flooded and threatened to wash the little building out to sea.

That plan was abandoned for a single-building design. They brought in landscape plants from Honolulu gardens, tons of shale from Mexico, nara wood railings from teh Philippines, artwork from Paris, towels from Ireland and appointments bought by designer Davis Allen from markets all over the world. The art around the grounds are incredible, of course that is when it was open. Right now the whole golf course has died and looks pretty brown out there.

Of course our office is only a few minutes away. It is a wonderful beach to still visit while you are here.

Another beach that has become very popular in our area is Wailea Bay. It is a protected Marine Sanctuary where Whales are born in the winter. We hope that all of the people visiting this unique area will respect the rich history and abundant sea life so generations of the future can enjoy the same beauty.

August 29, 2007

Renewable Energy Sources

Energy Sources

Solar Energy

The sun’s energy can be harnessed with many solar technologies.

Photovoltaic (PV) or solar electricity uses cells made up of semi-conducting materials to turn sunlight into electricity. PV cells can be combined into modules that can power appliances and electronic equipment.

Federal tax credits are available to partially subsidize PV systems,which can cost about $20,000 or more for a typical residential PV system without battery backup. Recently, the state increased the credit for single-family residential PV systems to $5,000 while commercial photovoltaics are now eligible for credits up to $500,000. PV-equipped homes and business that produce more solar electric energy than they use and are connected to the utility grid can use surplus power to offset their electricity bills. This net-metering system is also applicable to other renewable energy systems.

PV Basics: How PV works and more

– U.S. Department of Energy

More about Concentrated Solar Power

Solar water heating or solar thermal devices use heat from the sun to produce hot water. Since 1996, HECO, HELCO, and MECO have encouraged homeowners to install solar water heating systems through cash rebates to help defray installation costs. The rebates, along with State and Federal tax credits, are dramatically lowering solar water heating installation costs.

Today, Hawaii’s utilities have one of the largest and most successful solar water heating programs in the nation. We would hope that everyone who can have the luxury of living here in the great state of Hawaii could take the time to understand the benefits of this not so complicated application of energy.

We hope to promote this in many of our homes in the years to come.

August 28, 2007

History of the Konane—Hawaiian Checkers

Konane—Hawaiian Checkers found in the Petroglyph fields around our area here in Puako Hawaii. The Stone checkerboard is called papamu, the white playing stones are ‘ili kea, the black ‘ili ‘ele. Place the ‘ili alternately, black and white in the depressions in the papamu. The game requires 2 players. These stones are scattered along this coastline and really bring back that ancient feeling of living along the coastline with timeless sunsets.

Another Hawaiian Game was ‘O’o ihe—Spear Throwing. King Kamehameha would have his warriors hide and wait for him along the Kings Trail on the Kohala Coast to train for battle. Parts of this trail can still be seen today and are constantly being restored by local groups and Ohana (family) of local clans. The history is truly amazing , you really can feel the energy left behind not so long ago.

We aim to cherish the past while looking into the future. The true spirit and knowledge of the Hawaiian ways are so important for us to recognize and hopefully practice at some level while we are here weather it is showing Aloha or just taking the time to relax and smile at our neighbors. Puako really has that special feel, tucked in between all the major resorts we find time to take a step back and stop to smell the plumeria. Have a great day out there!!!!!

August 16, 2007

Building a Dream Home in Hawaii

Building your dream home in Hawaii can be easy if you do your research and work with reputable compnanies. When your dream home demands only the best we suggest using Smith Brothers Construction, a builder of fine custom homes.

Smith Brothers Construction stresses quality, attention to detail and true craftsmanship without compromise. As a leader in luxury design/build construction, they can readily provide you with a bid for your project. Their award-winning design ideas, expertise and experience will give you the home you’ve been dreamin about.

Since 1978 Smith Brothers Construction has been performing residential new construction and remodeling of fine luxury custom homes in very exclusive neighborhoods. It’s a business Jeff Smith has built on reputation and the high quality of work they perform.

If you would like a free DVD and Brochure please contact us.